George Anderson

George Anderson is a problem and the difficulties stem from both his birth and his death. As a result of the single cap he was awarded in 1901 the details posted by the Scottish Football Association have him as a "tough centre-half", born on 20th January 1877 in Kilmarnock and dying in Canada on 20th May 1930. And there is more or less agreement from Wiki, at least as to dates, although he is also described as a defender, which he wasn't. Physically powerful he was, hard tackling too, perhaps even at times a little "rough", but, as a centre-half, a centre-half in Scotland, a Scottish centre-half, with a total of eleven seasons at Kilmarnock, he also needed and had mobility and could pass. 

However, digging a little deeper, where the idea of a death in Canada comes from is "interesting", there being no known evidence, whilst on the other hand there might be some credibility in the birth. In the year and month given by both the SFA and Wiki there was a George Anderson, born in Kilmarnock, the son of James, a Police Lieutenant, and Martha. But alas he was born on the 6th not the 20th and almost immediately disappears from the records for the simple reason that he dies aged 2. 

So at this point we turn to the inestimable Andy Mitchell. He disagrees with both the SFA and Wiki and, as is with him always the case, for very good reason, not least because he has not just done the background checks but offers an alternative. His evidence is that on the very date stated by the SFA and Wiki there was a known death of a George Anderson. He was a bricklayer, died in his bed, at his home and that home was in Kilmarnock. Moreover he was fifty-one years old, which meant he had been born not in 1877 but 1878, with his parents given as Hugh, a coal miner, and Mary nee Shaw. 

But again there appeared at first to be a problem. There is no birth in Kilmarnock. But Andy in indefatigable. George, son of Hugh, coal miner, and Mary nee Shaw, was in fact born on the SFA's and Wiki's day, 20th January, in 1878 as indicated on death and still in Ayrshire but in Dreghorn. Furthermore, whilst the family, no doubt in following the coal, moved first to Catrine by 1881 and certainly by 1891, George aged no more than twelve, and apparently earlier, to Kilmarnock. 

So to the conclusion. We suggest the George Anderson, footballer, who in 1897 emerged from the Kilmarnock's second- into its first-team, essentially stayed there for a dozen campaigns, with just a single season, 1905-6, spent Down South in the Southern League with Luton Town and who won a single cap in 1901 was born in Dreghorn in 1878 and died in his adopted home-town in 1930. And if he was, then we can add that he worked as a bricklayer and that he was twice married, to local girl, Agnes Burt, in 1904, she dying in 1912, and in 1915 to Jeanie McGuire, from Stevenston. 

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